LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The debate over the legalized sale of alcohol at college sporting events is being framed, in part, as a fairness issue.
Those in favor of the idea pointed out that fans in suites have access to alcohol, while fans in the seats cannot indulge.
DeWitt Rep. Graham Filler tried to get bills passed in 2022, but came back with some new restrictions designed to help protect local bars on game day.
For example, buying alcohol at Michigan State University hockey events would be limited to 25 days, basketball games would be for 50 days, and football fans could score a drink for 10 days during the season.
The actual sale would be limited to one hour before the game, during the game, and a half hour afterward.
So far, seven of the Big Ten schools have legalized alcohol sales.
But, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has some concerns, especially with 8 p.m. football games.
“I used to look at it and thought ‘that looks like a lot of fun,’ but in the last 15 years, especially during the time when I was prosecutor, I look at that and think ‘that’s a recipe for disaster.’ It makes me nervous,” Whitmer said.
With fans drinking before the game, and now potentially during the game, does Whitmer favor it?
“I anticipate if the bill gets to my desk one of these days, I would sign it,” Whitmer said.
But that’s not to say Whitmer doesn’t worry.
“Alcohol makes everything a little more challenging,” Whitmer said.
The first House hearing on the measure is scheduled for April 11.